Men's Basketball

Pilots fail to sweep Wildcats, lose 94-87

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The Pilots attempted to sweep the 14th Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats on Feb. 11; however, were forced to split as they fell by a final score of 94-87. Bethel had stunned the Wildcats earlier this season at Indiana Wesleyan but was outmatched on Saturday, as the Wildcats entered the game with a five game winning streak and tied for first in the MCC with Grace. It did not take much time for the fans to realize that both of these teams felt comfortable with the quick pace and desired to capitalize in transition. Indiana Wesleyan took an early lead to open the game, but Bethel came storming back with a series of quick possessions and cut a twelve point lead to four points as they trailed at the break 42-38. The second half was very even throughout the first fifteen minutes of play. The Pilots established a sudden 7-0 run and
Nick Lewis scored 16 points off the bench in the Pilots' recent loss to Indiana Wesleyan. Lewis has been one of the most dominant bench players in the conference this season. (photo by Jeff Welsh)
found themselves up 57-55 in the early going of the second half. From there Indiana Wesleyan responded with a 9-0 run of their own and the game would remain close until the second media timeout that came with less than eight minutes of play remaining. With seven minutes left in the game the Wildcats held a 66-61 lead, which would soon be stretched to 77-64 in less than four minutes of play. The Pilots made a valiant come-from-behind effort; however, were never able to recover from the Indiana Wesleyan closing run. Both teams experienced a great deal of scoring. The Pilots had six players that scored in double figures, wh ile the two starting guards for Indiana Wesleyan combined for 48 points. Zach Miller was joined by Nick Lewis off the bench with 16 points on the afternoon, while Ryan Benner followed closely behind with fifteen points off the bench as well. Overall, the Pilots outscored the Wildcats in bench points 34-11. Landon Booker and Ryan Benner combined for two steals in a rare game where the Pilots only gathered four steals as a team. As every game late in the season, this game was a crucial MCC battle with standings implications. With this loss, Bethel is 7-9 in the conference and now tied with Taylor and Spring A rbor in seventh place. The Pilots will look to their last two games, at Grace and home against Marian, to earn a satisfying seed in the MCC Tournament. Bethel travels to Grace on Tuesday Feb. 14, where they will compete for a Valentine’s Day triumph.
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